Wake Island Watersports has decided to do away with the most cumbersome part of waterskiing and wakeboarding: the boat. Instead of a speeding vessel hooked to a towline, the park has a five-tower cable system on a 9-acre lake. Boarders hold on to a rope that's connected to the motorized cable, which pulls them across the water at the ideal speed for thrilling straightaways and tricks. Though the cable mimics the feeling of being behind a boat, it has advantages of its own. For example, its 37-foot height provides more lift, leading to impressive airtime for tricks such as switching your board out for a shocked swan. Another advantage: multiple riders can use the cable at the same time.
In addition to its main cable course, Wake Island Watersports has a two-tower cable system ideal for lessons and private parties. A cable pass includes all of the rental gear necessary to skim over the lake, from a life vest to the board itself. Advanced boarders can even slide and flip on obstacles from Rad Rails; however, they need to either provide their own board or rent a pro model board from Wake Island. Click here for a highlight video of all of Wake Island Watersports' activities.
The park specializes in cable wakeboarding, but has several other attractions within its 80-acre expanse. There's a large lake for traditional, boat-driven waterskiing, available to members, as well as a smaller lagoon for paddle boarding and having quiet dates with your reflection. Observation decks line these areas for those who'd rather spectate or browse the internet on free WiFi.
Iceland Ice Skating Rink welcomed local skaters and hockey players for 70 years, until an arsonist’s match burned the facility to the ground in 2010. But, thanks to a committed community effort, volunteers got the facility back in operation in less than a year, clearing 1,000 cubic yards of debris, polishing and lacing 400 pairs of skates, and refreezing the rink’s icy surface. Today, the rink's instructors give back to the community that embraced them in their time of need, grooming aspiring figure skaters and teaching young hockey players to body-check dangerous-looking penguins.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting open spaces, the Sacramento Valley Conservancy oversees 10,915 acres upon which man and beast can frolic together, 4,400 of which where these outings take place. Season-pass holders get a taste of rock-star treatment with all-access admission to hiking, mountain biking, and other nature excursions, as well as all events at Deer Creek Hills Preserve. Docents lead the journeys, sharing knowledge about the land and its resources and ensuring participants know what to do when they encounter forks and spoons in the trail. On scheduled group bike rides, cyclists trace old ranch roads, cattle paths, and breadcrumb trails through the preserve’s savannah grasslands, all the while keeping watch for colorful songbirds and mislaid lions.
There's something timeless about a classic county fair. There are the attractions such as antique cars and horse carriages, rodeos and livestock exhibitions. And, of course, there are the carnival rides. Midway of Fun makes sure that county fairs all over California stay stocked with the kind of flashing, whirling, fun that families have enjoyed for generations. A safety-focused team of pros sets up rides that range from sweet (the Berry Go Round and the Dragon Wagon) to nail-biting (the Viper and the Ranger). Fairgoers can also compete to win a stuffed toy or a term as mayor of next year's fair at games such as break-a-bottle and baseball toss.
RPM Indoor Kart Racing indulges a driver's need for speed with two connectable indoor racecourses, refereed by staff members during high-octane heats. After stepping into the spacious lobby with high ceilings and a two-story window overlooking the track, adult drivers slap down a valid driver's license and sign a liability form in exchange for a racing suit and helmet. Once suited up, they climb into a 9-horsepower race kart that reaches speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, roughly the speed of an ostrich riding a moped.
The raceway's two sweeping thoroughfares—the Monster Energy Track and the Unbound Energy Track—send amateur IndyCar drivers zooming around adrenaline-filled turns. On Mondays, the two courses unfurl into one gargantuan raceway—the Lost Big Gun Track. Races include sprint and grand prix competitions with 8–10 racers, or Hot Laps that pit drivers against the clock, which despite one hand being smaller than the other, is actually a pretty good driver.
Guaranteeing maximum safety, referees keep their eagle eyes peeled during every race to enforce the courses' rules of the road. After heated competitions, former enemies bury the hatchet and become lifelong frenemies over refreshments in the Skybox, a windowed lounge that overlooks the tracks.
Fright Planet Haunted Theme Park's outdoor theme park acts as a library of the world's most potent phobias. Every year, cast members reimagine its catalog of haunted environs, crafting new sets, props, and characters to prey on guests. Its dedication to genuine scares calls for only the best actors and the most grisly scenery, which is constructed with the help of a former Disneyland artist and a bulldozer possessed by the soul of a 1700s architect.
The 2013 lineup has expanded to include 10 attractions, including the ScreamMax 3-D movie theater. Though the houses all have distinct themes and decor, they share two factors: a richly painted backstory and a population of live, ghoulish denizens. Staring toys line the shelves at Höbart's Doll Factory, tight passageways put the squeeze on those brave enough to enter Jatinga: The Forbidden Temple, and cornstalks bear bloodstains on Podunk Farms. Other experiences play on claustrophobic fears—for example, Buried Alive: The Ride shuts patrons into a coffin where they endure a simulated hearse ride, burial, and the chilling sound of worms calling dibs on their body parts.